3 Tips on How to Speed Up Composting

Well, I’ve just been out in the garden on this wonderfully sunny day sowing seeds, transplanting veggies but also, turning the compost and manure heaps. I have A LOT of the stuff; particularly because the chickens remain in lockdown so I have all of their additional bedding to deal with. So, I was genuinely happy when I discovered some expert advice on just how to get that heap composting down more quickly.


Composting is one of best and easiest ways to contribute to the ecosystem. Come all ye leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen scraps, and gather round! Well, maybe not as dramatic as that.

But did you know that composting is number one in the recycling process of the ecosystem?

OK, enough blathering and back to the problem at hand. You’ve joined the good side – you researched and bought a compost bin and you’re composting right and left. But the problem is – Why is your compost taking a veritable eon to turn into delicious recyclable soil?

Look no further, friend. This blog post is about to give you 3 great tips to help you to speed up your composting.

One of the gardeners’ greatest friends – a compost heap.

Tip number one is all about size.  This is one time when bigger DEFINITELY isn’t better! If your pile has grown to be larger than 5 cubic feet, it will stop air from getting into the center of the pile. Composting only occurs if the pile’s center maintains enough heat to speed up the process of decomposition. The perfect pile size to maintain that center temperature is approximately 3 feet wide by 3 feet tall (and I will not stoop to giving that particular pile size a little nickname). If your compost pile is about this size, its center will retain heat, even on cold days.

Tip number two is all about moisture. Your compost pile is a living, breathing city where tons of microbes are eking out an existence. Microbes are tiny living animals, and what they need most is water to be able to survive. And how do these microbes like their water? Well, they’re big fans of MOIST – not too wet, not too dry. If your pile is too dry, those happy little microbes will die. If your pile is too wet, fermentation revs up, and pushes the stinking-to-high-heaven button! If you’ve just had a heavy rainfall in your area, and your compost pile is dripping wet, as soon as possible add some shredded newspaper, dry wood chips or dry leaves to the mix to start soaking up some water. Check every day or two to make certain that your compost hasn’t crossed over into the too dry territory. If it has started to parch, get your mister and spray the pile gently until it becomes the perfect moisture. You can do it!

Composting pile of rotting kitchen fruits and vegetable scraps

Tip number three is about air. Those friendly little microbe friends of yours must have enough oxygen to survive. If your pile’s too big, they will be oxygen deprived. If your pile’s too wet, some anaerobic bacteria will set up camp (they’re microbes that don’t need oxygen to survive), and they will turn your compost pile into a sour smelling, festering slum in the blink of an eye. That’s why swamps are so diabolically smelly, by the way. To stop the zombies of slime, you’ll need to come to the rescue. Get a shovel, pitchfork, or a special composting tool and turn your pile to aerate it. Turn the side matter into the center of the pile, and turn the center material out to the sides. Do this once a week, and your compost pile will be aerated and oxygen-rich.

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I'm Geoff, and I'm a plant hoarder.

Like magpies collect bright shiny things, I can't resist plants. An exquisite flower, soft ferny foliage or a beautiful majestic tree - I love them all!

Here, I'll indulge in all things flora and share my passion. Join me as I develop my garden and hoard more plants without apology.